Category: Gmail | Oct 26, 2010
Posted by David Tattersall, Associate Product Manager
If you’re using Tasks, you’ve probably thought about something you’d like us to improve or an additional feature you wish you had. Well, we want to hear your ideas — whether they’re for Tasks in Gmail, in Google Calendar, or on your phone.
For the next few weeks, we’re running a poll for Tasks feature requests. We really appreciate the feedback we’ve already received about syncing, sharing, Calendar integration and more, and we’re looking forward to hearing more details within these topics as well as any new requests you have. The poll will remain open until November 19th, at which point we’ll take a careful look at all of the feedback and prioritize your requests. So if you have a few minutes between now and then, please take a look and vote to help us improve Tasks functionality. Thanks!
Category: Gmail | Oct 15, 2010
Posted by Diana Phan, Gmail Support Team
October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and a good time for a reminder about why hijackers do what they do and how you can protect your account. Check out the Online Security blog to learn about common hijacking techniques and security practices that will help you stay one step ahead of the bad guys. To help ensure your Gmail account is safe, take a minute to visit the Gmail help center and complete our new security checklist.
Category: Gmail | Oct 4, 2010
Posted by Jason Toff, @gmail team
We launch new features in Gmail almost every week, and people learn about these features from different sources — friends and family, the news, this blog, or our what’s new page. But heavy Twitter users like me often have to rely on @google and other users for updates related to Gmail. Starting today, you can now get all your Gmail news, tips and tricks directly from @gmail.
As always, if you encounter any issues with your Gmail account, our Help Center and user forum are your best resources. But if you have feedback or ideas you want to share, feel free to reply @gmail or include #gmail in tweets – we’ll be reading your feedback periodically.
We’re also giving away 140 snazzy t-shirts:
To get a shirt, tweet your best ode or haiku to Gmail (see some examples). The first 140 people to do so will get a free shirt in the mail (subject to these contest terms).
To follow us, visit http://twitter.com/gmail.
Category: Gmail | Sep 29, 2010
Posted by Wiltse Carpenter, Technical Lead
The way Gmail organizes mail into conversations is like cilantro. You either love it — and, like me, enjoy the nice citrusy, herbal finish it gives to everything from salsa to curry — or you hate it. And those of you who hate it hate it enough to launch sites like nocilantro.com and ihatecilantro.com (“an anti cilantro community”), where you can hate it together.
But my fondness for cilantro pales in comparison to my love for Gmail’s conversation view, or message threading. I haven’t had to wade through multiple messages to follow a conversation in years. A centithread hasn’t filled up the entire first page of my inbox in almost as long as I can remember. Having all the replies to an email (and replies to those replies) grouped with the original message simply makes communicating so much easier.
It turns out not everyone feels the same way. And just as an outspoken minority has banded together in unison to declare their distaste of one of nature’s most delicious herbs, some of you have been very vocal about your dislike of conversation threading. So just like you can order your baja fish tacos without cilantro, you can now get Gmail served up sans conversation view. Go to the main Settings page, look for the “Conversation View” section, select the option to turn it off, and save changes. If you change your mind, you can always go back.
This feature will be rolling out over the next few days so if you don’t see it immediately, check back in a bit. And once you try it out, let us know what you think.
Category: Gmail | Sep 22, 2010
Posted by Simon Arscott and Paul Westbrook, Gmail for Android team
(Cross-posted from the Mobile Blog)
We just released a new version of the Gmail app in Android Market, so Gmail updates aren’t tied to Android version releases anymore. Now you can get new Gmail stuff faster without having to wait for system updates. To start you off, we’ve improved message replies, access to quoted text, and more.
As you scroll through a conversation, your most important message actions will now stick to the top of the screen, one click away, no matter how long the email is.
Don’t remember what prompted the most recent email in a thread? Now you can view previous message content more easily, just like in the desktop version of Gmail. Tap “Show quoted text” to reveal the previous message.
Finally, this updated version of the Gmail app has limited support for Priority Inbox. If you’ve enabled Priority Inbox via the desktop version of Gmail, you’ll see an “Important” label that shows all messages flagged as important. You can even add a shortcut to “Important” to your home screen.
The Gmail update requires Froyo (Android version 2.2), so it’s available if you have a Nexus One, HTC EVO, Motorola Droid 2 or Motorola Droid. (Not sure if your device is running Android version 2.2? Check here.)
Get the update from Android Market (just scan the QR code below, or click here if you’re on a phone) and check out the new Gmail. We’d love to hear what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update 9/21/10 12:26pm PDT: There is a known issue where the headers don’t stick properly on some HTC phones like the EVO 4G and Droid Incredible. We are working to address this.
Category: Gmail | Sep 16, 2010
Posted by Serge Lachapelle, Product Manager
If you use video chat in Gmail, you might be interested in a new Labs feature we just rolled out that allows you to preview new video chat features before they’re turned on for everyone. Visit the Gmail Labs tab under Settings, turn on “Video chat enhancements,” and right away, you’ll see higher resolution video and a bigger video chat window.
The higher resolution video uses a new playback mechanism which enables widescreen VGA and frees up valuable resources on your computer. For it to work, both you and the person you’re chatting with will need to have the lab turned on. Remember that you can always revert to standard video chat by disabling the lab.
We plan to add more video chat enhancements to this lab in the future, so if you have it on you’ll automatically get those too. Feel free to post your comments or report any issues you encounter in the video chat forum (we also follow #googlevideochat on Twitter).
Category: Gmail | Sep 9, 2010
Posted by Kristen Lemons, Gmail Support Team
It’s been a week since we launched Priority Inbox, and now that you’ve hopefully had a chance to try it out, we wanted to share some tips to help you manage your email more efficiently. Here are five ways you can make Priority Inbox work even better for you:
1. Customize your sections
By default, Priority Inbox has three sections: “Important and Unread,” “Starred” and “Everything Else.” But that doesn’t mean you have to leave them that way. You can make a section show messages from a particular label (like your “Action” or “To-do” label), add a fourth section, or change the maximum size of any section. Visit the Priority Inbox tab under Settings to customize your sections, or do it right from the inline menus.
2. Train the system
If Gmail makes a mistake, you can help it learn to better categorize your messages. Select the misclassified message, then use the importance buttons at the top of your inbox to correctly mark it as important or not important.
For those of you who can’t live without keyboard shortcuts, don’t worry, you can use the “+” and “-” keys to adjust importance as well.
3. See the best of your filtered messages
You can set up Priority Inbox to show you not just the best of your inbox, but also the best of messages you filter out of your inbox and might otherwise miss. Just change your Priority Inbox settings to “Override filters” and Gmail will surface any important messages that would otherwise skip your inbox.
With this option turned on, you can use filters to archive more aggressively and worry less about missing an important message.
4. Use filters to guarantee certain messages get marked important (or not)
If you read and reply to a lot of messages from your mom, Gmail should automatically put incoming messages from her in the “Important and unread” section. But if you want to be 100% sure that all messages from your mom (or your boss, boyfriend, client, landlord, etc.) are marked important, you can create a filter for messages from that sender and select “Always mark as important.” Similarly, if you regularly read messages from your favorite magazine, they should automatically get marked as important. If you’d rather they end up in the “Everything else” section, you can create a filter to never mark them as important.
5. Archive unimportant messages quickly
One of the features that can help make you more efficient is the ability to archive all of the visible messages in the “Everything Else” section at once. Just click on the down arrow next to “Everything Else” and select the “Archive all visible items” option. If you want to be able to archive even more messages at once, you can increase the maximum number of messages that show in that section from the same drop-down.
Category: Gmail | Sep 3, 2010
Posted by Mike Yang, Associate General Counsel
(Cross-posted from the Google Blog)
Long, complicated and lawyerly—that’s what most people think about privacy policies, and for good reason. Even taking into account that they’re legal documents, most privacy policies are still too hard to understand.
So we’re simplifying and updating Google’s privacy policies. To be clear, we aren’t changing any of our privacy practices; we want to make our policies more transparent and understandable. As a first step, we’re making two types of improvements:
In addition, we’re adding:
- More content to some of our product Help Centers so people will be able to find information about protecting their privacy more easily; and
- A new privacy tools page to the Google Privacy Center. This will mean that our most popular privacy tools are now all in one place.
Our updated privacy policies still might not be your top choice for beach reading (I am, after all, still a lawyer), but hopefully you’ll find the improvements to be a step in the right direction.
Category: Gmail | Aug 30, 2010
Posted by Doug Aberdeen, Software Engineer
People tell us all that time that they’re getting more and more mail and often feel overwhelmed by it all. We know what you mean—here at Google we run on email. Our inboxes are slammed with hundreds, sometimes thousands of messages a day—mail from colleagues, from lists, about appointments and automated mail that’s often not important. It’s time-consuming to figure out what needs to be read and what needs a reply. Today, we’re happy to introduce Priority Inbox (in beta)—an experimental new way of taking on information overload in Gmail.
Gmail has always been pretty good at filtering junk mail into the “spam” folder. But today, in addition to spam, people get a lot of mail that isn’t outright junk but isn’t very important—bologna, or “bacn.” So we’ve evolved Gmail’s filter to address this problem and extended it to not only classify outright spam, but also to help users separate this “bologna” from the important stuff. In a way, Priority Inbox is like your personal assistant, helping you focus on the messages that matter without requiring you to set up complex rules.
Priority Inbox splits your inbox into three sections: “Important and unread,” “Starred” and “Everything else”:
As messages come in, Gmail automatically flags some of them as important. Gmail uses a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, including the people you email most (if you email Bob a lot, a message from Bob is probably important) and which messages you open and reply to (these are likely more important than the ones you skip over). And as you use Gmail, it will get better at categorizing messages for you. You can help it get better by clicking the or buttons at the top of the inbox to correctly mark a conversation as important or not important. (You can even set up filters to always mark certain things important or unimportant, or rearrange and customize the three inbox sections.)
After lots of internal testing here at Google, as well as with Gmail and Google Apps users at home and at work, we’re ready for more people to try it out. Priority Inbox will be rolling out to all Gmail users, including those of you who use Google Apps, over the next week or so. Once you see the “New! Priority Inbox” link in the top right corner of your Gmail account (or the new Priority Inbox tab in Gmail Settings), take a look.
Category: Gmail | Aug 26, 2010
Posted by Nassar Stoertz, Software Engineer
In the next day or so, you’ll start to see some changes to the event page in Google Calendar which should make scheduling events easier. We’ve made the style more consistent with other Google apps, put information that’s most commonly used at the top of the screen, simplified the layout, and added some functionality.
A new repeating event editor
The old interface for creating recurring events was clumsy and took up too much space on the screen. Now you’ll see only a summary of your recurring event on the main event page; if you want to edit it, you can use a window that opens when you select the “Repeats” checkbox.
A new tool to help you find a time for your event
You’ll notice a new tab on the event page that should make it easier to find a good time to schedule an event. When your friends or coworkers give you permission to see their calendars, you can click this tab to see a preview of their schedules and hover over their events to see what conflicts they might have. This should make scheduling a tad easier, especially for events with large numbers of guests. For Google Apps users, the new schedule preview can also show data from other calendar services using our Google Calendar Connectors API.
Changes under the hood
As browsers and other technologies both within and outside of Google have evolved, we’ve found it necessary to occasionally make structural code changes in order to keep up. These visible changes are only the surface; underneath we’ve added a new model for how we represent calendar events in the browser and a new mechanism for how we make sure those events get properly saved. We’ve paid special attention to performance, consistency, and extensibility. In the short term, you’ll hopefully notice that the event page opens slightly faster than it did before.